Viktar Karnyayenka, a coordinator of an independent election observation group, was not allowed by border guards on Thursday to leave Belarus.
Mr. Karnyayenka planned to board a plane bound for Vienna, where he was to attend an OSCE conference on democratic elections and election observation, when he was told by border control officers at Minsk National Airport that he was under a foreign travel ban.
The coordinator of the For Fair Elections group had been denied exit from Belarus before and his appeal against the travel ban is to be heard by a Minsk district court later this month.
The conference in Vienna is to be attended by Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of the central election commission who has been banned from entering the European Union since 2006 over accusations of election fraud but has been granted a visa to take part in the event.
"If she attends the event, this will be yet another proof that European institutions are acting in a short-sighted manner, trying to reform those who have repeatedly rigged elections and are barred from Europe," Mr. Karnyayenka said.
The activist was not allowed to leave Belarus one day after police raided his home in Fanipal, Minsk region, and seized election observation tutorials. //BelaPAN